Saturday, May 30, 2015

Explaining what a missionary does to prepare for a mission and a big thank you!!

Some of you may have questions about what a missionary does. There is a link above called "About Missionary Work" that will give you a better idea of what missionaries do.

Before a missionary leaves for a mission, there are a few things that a missionary must do to prepare:
1. Demonstrate worthiness to moral standards set by the Lord.
2. Prepare physically and spiritually to go and teach the gospel.
3. Prepare financially. Missionaries spend 18 months to 2 years teaching the gospel. They do not have an opportunity to earn money while serving. They (and sometimes their families) work to have enough money saved to financially support them while they are gone. 
4. Attend the Temple to receive their endowments (more explained on this later).

This is a little bit of how Elder Neifert prepared for his mission: 

He worked both physically and spiritually to earn enough money to prepare for his call. He did lawn care, worked as a camp counselor, and other jobs to earn enough money to pay his way. He had doctors appointments and dental work done to ensure that he was healthy and strong enough to serve full-time.  He met with his bishop and stake president (local church leadership) to make sure he was prepared spiritually to go and teach the gospel.
Together they submitted an application to serve as a missionary.

Then they waited!! It can often take a few weeks to receive a mission call in the mail.
Here is a photo of the day Aaron received his mission call: 

Once his call came, Aaron had a few months to prepare by getting the necessary clothing, medical attention (shots, dental, etc), and other things ready to take with him to El Salvador. One of the most important things that he took care of was attending the St. Louis Temple to receive his endowments (see video below). You've probably seen the temple as you drive on highway 40:
 An Endowment is an ceremony that takes place in the Temple. In it, the person makes promises to obey commandments from the Lord, in return the person receives gifts and blessings if they live up to those commandments (very similar to the 10 commandments). This is called a covenant.   This video explains more about temples:
 Aaron and his friend Derrick after the temple:
 Elder Neifert gave a talk during church on a Sunday before he left. This is typically called a farewell talk. There was also a gathering for Aaron at his parent's home that gave friends and family a chance to say goodbye before he left. It was called "Pies and Ties". Guests were asked to bring a tie so that Aaron could take ties to those he visited with and taught in El Salvador, who are often too poor to afford something so nice as a tie. Below is a picture of Elder Neifert with all of the ties he received:

 A HUGE thank you to those who came to show support and love, not only to Elder Neifert, but to those he would be serving in El Salvador. 

The day before Elder Neifert left on his mission, he was set apart (given a special blessing from one holding the priesthood). This video explains more about blessings and Priesthood:

                                          Here he is after he was set apart as a missionary:

Being able to serve a mission is both a blessing and a sacrifice. One that will help him to serve others, but most importantly the Lord with everything he has. He will help others to come to our Savior and feel the peace that only He can bring.  It is a lot of hard work, but allows him to see the Lord's hand working in his life and those he associates with.

If you have any questions about Missionary work, Temples, or The Church, please feel free to comment below or visit

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